Living Greenfully, Eating Greenfully

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The term “Green” is much used and abused these days. Catchphrases such as “Live Green” and “Eat Green” are used to define and market all sorts of products and lifestyles, including many that are not in fact environmentally sustainable. This article will explain what is necessary for fully “Green” life on earth – what this article will call “Living Greenfully” and “Eating Greenfully.”

In Copenhagen in December 2009 and almost a year later in Cancun, policymakers have convened for two major conferences to agree on a new international treaty to reverse climate change. Both times they have largely failed to agree on their stated objectives. Yet between the two events, temperatures hit new highs in seventeen countries. The previous record was in 2007, with new highs in fourteen countries. For example, last August outdoor temperatures in Moscow rose above 100 degrees for the first time, making people wear face masks to perform daily activities.

Even were policymakers to have reached an agreement in Copenhagen or Cancun, it would likely have reflected their stated objectives, which focused principally on the development of renewable energy infrastructure to reduce atmospheric carbon.

Yet the common prescription of renewable energy infrastructure to keep temperatures from rising more than two degrees centigrade is estimated to cost eighteen trillion dollars and take decades to install – long past the several years that most climate experts estimate remain before the tipping point for climate catastrophe.

Still, the prescription for renewable energy must be filled to keep emissions down over the long term. Meanwhile, something must be done about excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today that will take at least a century to dissolve, without new capacity to absorb it. There is only one known way to create such new capacity in time: It is to allow some land now set aside for livestock and feed production to regenerate forest – by replacing a sizeable amount of today's livestock products with substitute products that are tasty, easy to prepare, and inexpensive. It involves no waiting for a new international treaty, and no trillions of dollars for new infrastructure.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law
    This volume returns to one of the major themes of the Global Ecological Integrity Group: the interface between integrity as a scientific concept and a number of important issues in ethics, international law and public health. The main scholars who have worked on these topics over the years return to re-examine these dimensions from the viewpoint of global governance.
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